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pulled down) is a very fine church; my parishioners beg you will take it to make an hospital for the sick and wounded of both parties,—they are both equally our countrymen: the gold and silver, part of which we have brought you, they entreat you will devote to the service of the state, and that

you will cast the bells into cannon to drive away its foreign invaders : for myself, I come with great pleasure to resign my letters of ordination, of induction, and every deed and title by which I have been constituted a member of your ecclesiastical polity. Here are the papers; you may burn them if you please in the same fire with the genealogical trees and patents of the nobility. I desire likewise, that you will discontinue my salary. I am still able to support myself by the labour of my hands, and I beg of you to believe that I never felt sincerer joy than I now do in making this renunciation. I have longed to see this day; I see it, and am glad.'

“When the old man had done speaking, the applauses were immoderate. You are an honest man, said they all at once; you are a brave fellow; you do not believe in God; and the president advanced to give him the fraternal embrace. The curé did not seem greatly elated with these tokens of approbation; he retired back a few steps, and thus resumed his discourse. "Before you applaud my sentiments, it is fit you

should understand them ; perhaps they may not entirely coincide with your own. I rejoice in this day, not because I wish to see religion degraded, but because I wish to see it exalted and purified. By dissolving

By dissolving its alliance with the state, you have given it dignity and independence. You have done it a piece of service which its well-wishers would, perhaps, never have had courage to render it, but which is the only thing wanted to make it appear in its genuine beauty and lustre. Nobody will now say of me, that I am performing the offices of my religion as a trade; he is paid for telling the people such and such things ; he is hired to keep up an useless piece of mummery. They cannot now say this, and therefore I feel myself raised in my own esteem, and shall speak to them with a confidence and frankness which, before this, I never durst venture to assume. We resign without reluctance our gold and silver images and embroidered vestments, because we have never found that gold and silver made the heart more pure, or the affections more heavenly: we can also spare our churches, for the heart that wishes to lift itself up to God will never be at a loss for room to do it in: but we cannot spare our religion ; because, to tell you the truth, we never had so much occasion for it. I understand that you accuse us priests of having told the people a great many falsehoods. I suspect

this may

have been the case; but till this day we have never been allowed to inquire whether the things which we taught them were true or not. You required us formerly to receive them all without proof, and you would have us now reject them all without discrimination; neither of these modes of conduct become philosophers, such as you would be thought to be. I am going to employ myself diligently along with my parishioners to sift the wheat from the chaff, the true from the false : if we are not successful, we shall be at least sincere. I do fear, indeed, that while I wore these vestments which we have brought you, and spoke in that gloomy building which we have given up to you, I told my flock a great many idle stories. I cannot but hope, however, that the errors we have fallen into have not been very material, since the village has been in general sober and good, the peasants are honest, docile and laborious, the husbands love their wives, and the wives their husbands; they are fortunately not too rich to be compassionate, and they have constantly relieved the sick and fugitives of all parties whenever it has lain in their


I think, therefore, what I have taught them cannot be so very much amiss. You want to extirpate priests; but will you hinder the ignorant from applying for instruction, the unhappy for comfort and hope, the unlearned from looking up

to the learned? If you do not, you will have priests, by whatever name you may order them to be called; but it certainly is not necessary they should wear a particular dress, or be appointed by state-letters of ordination. My letters of ordination are my zeal, my charity, my ardent love for my dear children of the village; if I were more learned, I would add my knowledge, but alas! we all know very little; to man every error is pardonable but want of humility. We have à public walk with a spreading elm at the end of it, and a circle of green round it, with a convenient bench. Here I shall draw together the children as they are playing around me. I shall point to the vines laden with fruit, to the orchards, to the herds of cattle lowing around us, to the distant hills stretching one behind another; and they will ask me, How came all these things? I shall tell them all I know or have heard from wise men who have lived before me; they will be penetrated with love and veneration; they will kneel,-I shall kneel with them; they will not be at

my feet, but all of us at the feet of that good Being, whom we shall worship together; and thus they will receive within their tender minds á religion. The old men will come sometimes from having deposited under the green sod one of their companions, and place themselves by my side; they will look wistfully at the turf, and anxiously

inquire_Is he gone for ever? Shall we soon be like him? Will no morning break over the tomb? When the wicked cease from troubling, will the good cease from doing good? We will talk of these things : I will comfort them. I will tell them of the goodness of God; I will speak to them of a life to come; I will bid'them hope for a state of retribution.--- In a clear night, when the stars slide over our heads, they will ask what these bright bodies are, and by what rules they rise and set? and we will converse about different forms of being, and distant worlds in the immensity of space, governed by the same laws, till we feel our minds raised from what is groveling, and refined from what is sordid. You talk of Nature, this is Nature; and if


could at this moment extinguish religion in the minds of the world, thus would it be kindled again, and thus again excite the curiosity, and interest the feelings of mankind. You have changed our holidays; you have an undoubted right, as our civil governors, so to do; it is very immaterial whether they are kept once in seven days, or once in ten; some, however, you will leave us, and when they occur, I shall tell those who choose to hear me, of the beauty and utility of virtue, of the dignity of right conduct. We shall talk of good men who have lived in the world, and of the doctrines they taught; and if any of them have been per

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